Three unconnected thoughts on a Monday afternoon.

1) The Dallas Stars are doing what it takes to get to the Stanley Cup Finals. Last night’s opening round finale against Vegas was everything a Game Seven is supposed to be: a full-on-two-and-a-half-hour-heart-attack. Radek Faksa’s sublime backhanded tally early in the third period proved to be the game winner, but only after a spectacular shut-down by the Dallas defense, concluding with those last two-and-a-half minutes of a one-goal game when the other team has an empty net and a man advantage. Whew! Jake Ottinger is calmly brilliant between the pipes. Wyatt Johnston and Jason Robertson are leading the offense. Seguin and Benn are providing the veteran leadership. Stankoven is looking to be the postseason hero nobody saw coming. Stars coach Pete DeBoer is moving the pieces perfectly. It looks like everything’s in place. With the series win over Vegas, the Stars avenged last season’s loss to the Golden Knights in the conference finals and they exorcised once and for all the Adin Hill demons that were swimming around in their heads. Up next is the longtime Western Conference rival Colorado Avalanche whose scoring success in the first round against Winnipeg is frightening. But there’s no way they keep up with the Stars. Vegas was the toughest draw for Dallas.


2) The new limited edition Coconut Cream Dr Pepper is the first tricked-up flavored Dr Pepper that didn’t disappoint me. I didn’t know anything about Coconut Cream Dr Pepper until today during a lunch with all our ministers. So, of course, I hit two grocery stores on the way back to the church building so we could all try it together. H-E-B had nothing and all I could find at United Market Street was one 12-pack of the Dr Pepper Zero. Good enough. In the great 10-2-4 Dr Pepper tradition, we gathered in the break room at 2:00 for the tasting. And I think it’s really, really good! Overall, the reviews were mixed. Unsurprisingly, the Dr Pepper haters hated it. Brenda said it was nasty and called it coconut-flavored prune juice. Jadyn declared it amazing. Kim called it yummy. Tim said Dr Pepper is a unique enough flavor on its own that adding anything to it only messes it up. And–breaking news–Ryan didn’t even try it. My problem with all the flavored DPs is that the added flavor isn’t strong enough, it’s barely there. But you can definitely smell and taste the coconut in this new one, and it’s truly wonderful. Jim says it tastes like suntan lotion.


3) Church humor is funny. The HVAC system in our church offices blew a gasket late last week and for two days the AC was blowing extremely frigid air at a high velocity and nothing could be done to shut it down. We were all freezing. Once the situation was remedied, one of our ministers sent the church staff this picture of the thermostat in his office with this caption: “I told you it was cold as hell in here!”